CTU, CPS Expected to Reject Arbitrator Compromise - NBC Chicago

CTU, CPS Expected to Reject Arbitrator Compromise

Sources said the arbitrator will recommend teachers get between a 15 and 20 percent raise



    The sense is both the school board and the teachers will not accept a fact finder's report. Mary Ann Ahern explains. (Published Monday, July 16, 2012)

    UPDATE: CPS, CTU Officially Reject Report...

    The Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools are expected to agree to disagree with an independent arbitrator's report due this week.

    As a potential teachers strike continues to loom, and CPS calls its financial situation dire, the opposing two entities reportedly will reject the third-party compromise that was finally supposed to bring these two sides together.

    If the CTU does not agree on a contract, a strike could happen next month.

    The report found a longer school day will mean 20 percent more work for teachers, and suggested a pay raise of 15 to 20 percent. A raise that size would mean larger class sizes and significant layoffs, something neither side wants in the end.

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    Teachers have waged an all-out war against CPS, demanding 30 percent raises over two years and last month voting overwhelmingly to authorize a strike. CPS has offered a 2 percent raise.

    All along CPS chief Jean-Claude Brizard has urged teachers to wait for this week when an independent arbitrator unveils a compromise.

    The report, now due out Wednesday instead of Monday, isn't the help CPS has hoped for.

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    “Wages, benefits and job protection are important parts of any labor agreement,” said CTU President Karen Lewis in a statement. “However, we have maintained all along that these negotiations are not just about the bread and butter issues that impact public school educators. We sincerely want to make the learning conditions better for our students.”

    The report did not touch issues of class size, staffing, and rules of recall following layoffs.

    A rejection of the report could mean another round of tense negotiations leading up to the new year, when Mayor Rahm Emanuel's longer school day is set to begin.

    "The negotiations with CPS continue--in good faith, at least on our part," Lewis said.

    The school board is scheduled to meet Wednesday. Officials have 15 days to accept or reject the report's recommendations.